MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 15:23:01| >> :600:4301834:4301834:
Mar 31, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Stadionul Zimbru
Carp (29')
Carp (3'), Cojocari (30'), Rata (50'), Armas (82')
Nicolaescu (50')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Zahavi (45+2'), Solomon (57'), Dabour (64'), Natcho (66')
Dasa (7'), Taha (50')

Preview: Moldova vs. Israel - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Moldova and Israel, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Israel travel to Moldova for the first time since September 2008 when they face each other in their third World Cup 2022 qualifier on Wednesday evening.

The hosts head into this fixture deflated after conceding eight goals against Denmark on Sunday, while the visitors claimed their first point in Group D with a draw against Scotland.

Match preview

Denmark's Lasse Schone in action with Moldova's Igor Armas Ritzau on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Moldova were unable to build on their 1-1 draw with the Faroe Islands as they were thrashed 8-0 away in Denmark last Sunday.

Roberto Bordin's side were 5-0 down after just 38 minutes before conceding another three strikes in the second half, suffering their heaviest defeat on the international stage.

Moldova, who are currently 177th in the world rankings, have never had much success during the World Cup qualifying stages, losing 42 of their 60 matches and winning only five.

Bordin, who was appointed as head coach in February, has inherited a squad that are currently enduring a 15-game winless run, with their last taste of success coming against fellow minnows Andorra, winning 1-0 in June 2019.

Victory for Moldova on Wednesday is unlikely, but after drawing 1-1 in their last game against Israel in 2017, they may fancy their chances of claiming a point on Wednesday.

Israel's Dor Peretz celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 28, 2021© Reuters

After defeat in their opening World Cup qualifier against Denmark, Israel claimed a point against Scotland with a 1-1 draw in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

The hosts took the lead on the stroke of half time after a brilliant 25-yard strike from midfielder Dor Peretz beat goalkeeper David Marshall.

However, Ryan Fraser's low-driven shot in the 56th minute squeezed past Ofir Marciano to help the Scots claim a point away from home.

Israel have won only one of their last eight away international matches, but have never lost to Wednesday's opponents Moldova, winning three and drawing three of their six meetings.

Willibald Ruttensteiner's side currently sit fifth in Group F, but a win in midweek could move them level on points with second-placed Austria if they were to lose to group leaders Denmark.

Moldova World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • D
  • L

Moldova form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Israel World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • D

Israel form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Israel manager Willibald Ruttensteiner pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Despite being thrashed by Denmark last weekend, Moldova boss Bordin is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup.

Right-back Igor Arhirii made his debut against the Danes but was substituted at half time. The 24-year-old could be replaced by Ion Jardan, who came on in his place on Sunday.

Forward Ion Nicolaescu, who scored his second international goal against the Faroe Islands, is expected to lead the line with Vitalie Damascan, who has netted just once for his country in 15 appearances.

Central defender Alexandru Epureanu could win his 100th international cap on Sunday and is set to partner captain Igor Armas in the heart of defence.

Like Bordin, Israel manager Ruttensteiner is not expected to rotate his side too much in midweek.

Defender Ofri Arad started ahead of Joel Abu Hanna against Scotland and could keep his place in a back-three alongside Hatem Abd Elhamed and Eitan Tibi.

Attackers Munas Dabbur and Eran Zahavi are both expected to start and are two players in particular that Moldova will need to watch out for on Wednesday.

Moldova possible starting lineup:
Namasco; Jardan, Epureanu, Armas, Reabciuk; Carp; Rata, Ionita; Cojocari; Damascan, Nicolaescu

Israel possible starting lineup:
Marciano; Elhamed, Tibi, Arad; Dasa, Natkho, Peretz, Menachem; Solomon; Zahavi, Dabbur

SM words green background

We say: Moldova 0-1 Israel

The last four meetings between the two sides have seen both teams score but with Moldova finding the net only once in their last nine matches, we feel that the hosts may struggle to score on Wednesday.

Israel should have enough quality in the final third, with Dabbur and Zahavi leading the line, to secure a narrow victory at the Zimbru Stadium.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Israel's Eran Zahavi celebrates scoring against Scotland on Septmeber 4, 2020
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Willi Ruttensteiner urges Israel to remain focused amid Scotland issues
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